August 15-21, 2002
Letters to the Editor
Not Her Nation
(Re: Cover story, “Jackass Nation,” Kent Williams, Aug. 8, 2002)
I simply refuse to watch garbage like that.
Thank God for cable channels like Discovery, The Learning Channel, The History Channel, Bravo, BBC America, etc. where intelligent programming still exists. I love being able to watch TV shows where you actually learn something.
And if that attitude sounds snobbish or (gasp!) unAmerican, too bad! I'm tired of the "Smart bad, stupid good" attitude prevalent in this country.
Terry M. Callen
GLOUCESTER CITY, N.J.
(Re: Musicpicks, Aug. 8, 2002)
Thanks to A.D. Amorosi for having the courage to break from the Official Rock Critic Position and give props to bands like Yes, who have the courage to ignore Official Rock Rules (don't be too positive, don't challenge the audience too much, don't list classical as an influence, etc.). He makes up for referring to drummer Alan White as "whatever drummer sat still" (he's been there for three decades; it's a little more than "sitting still," especially when you're 50+ and playing blistering three-hour sets!), and the stab, echoed in "The Bell Curve," at their lyrics (this, from a paper that frequently piles hyperbole on gangsta rap?!). Agreed, I sound like an Official Yes Fan. But they have remained popular, especially in Philly, for over 30 years without marketing, image-mongering, or being concerned with "street cred." Critics and music in general could learn a lot from that affirmative.
(Re: Cover Story, “Awesome Powers,” Marc Kravitz, Aug. 1, 2002)
It took a while to fully comprehend the mindset of Craig LaBan and his critiques, and I was almost ready to start defending him until I read his review of Red Chopstix last May. The new restaurant received a glowing review of the food prepared by chef Bruce Lim. What bothered me about the article wasn't his displeasure at the decor but the reference to a "rude" waiter from Lim's previous restaurant, Ciboulette. Dining out is about the total experience, but LaBan's focus should have remained on the new restaurant and not conjured up ghosts from a two-year-old article. Thanks for a great article. I'm sure many people are interested in who this guy is and why he's saying those terrible things about restaurants.
Abuse of Corpse
(Re: Slant, “Cadaver Envy,” Ted Mann, Aug. 1, 2002)
I'm surprised that City Paper would publish "Cadaver Envy." Ted Mann is a remarkably callous person, apparently. He finds it "strange" that there would be a memorial service for the persons who offered their bodies to medical science. I find it very strange indeed that he would want to gawk at the body parts of the cadaver his girlfriend worked on. It is scandalous that she let him. A dear friend of mine donated her body to a medical school. I hope she was treated with more respect.
David M. Barrett
The Final Frontier
(Re: “Good Things, Small Packages,” Debra Auspitz, July 25, 2002)
Thank you, City Paper, for providing a forum for one of the most frustrating issues for the Philadelphia theater community: lack of space! With all of the creativity and innovation going on behind the scenes, it truly is a shame that so few theater companies have reasonable access to production space, much less a place to produce a full-length run without incurring unimaginable debt.
Having moved into our own permanent home only three years ago, Mum Puppettheatre knows well the pressures facility needs can put on a company, and with the help and input of other companies in town we’ve been working on a plan for the past few months to do our part in alleviating the space crunch. But none of us can do it alone, and it’s heartening to see that the Small Theater Collective is revamping itself to initiate positive change.
At last an issue which formerly found life only in mutterings and side comments has been made public. Whether one needs a 750-seat house or a studio that sells out at 30, all of us in the Philadelphia theater community must strive together to overcome the “vampire” that is our collective space need -- or at least to figure out how to keep it from sucking us all dry.
Assistant to the Artistic Director, Mum Puppettheatre
Don’t Get Mad, Get Glad
(Re: Letters, Aug. 1, 2002 and Pretzel Logic, “Basket Case,” Howard Altman, July 25, 2002)
OK, I'm convinced now -- some folks at the Bureau of Administrative Adjudication are drinking Trash Truck Juice. Unless Mr. Shih, Evil Trash Sweeper that he is, uses some rather distinctive garbage bags, he probably didn't know whose trash he was cleaning up. If it happened to be his neighbor's garbage, would the Trash Police fine his neighbor? You betcha. "Civilization is being chipped away at the edges," not by citizens using the "wrong" trash receptacle like Mr. Shih, but by "bureaus" like the BAA punishing individuals that try to do the right thing and use some common sense (would you bring garbage that may not even be yours in your house to fester for another week?) instead of getting to the root of the problem. City sanitation workers apparently can't seem to get whole garbage bags to go into that gaping hole in the back of their truck.
Mark F. Walker
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